View Full Version : Catholic Religion, 1720's, central/southern Europe

09-21-2008, 04:44 AM
Here's a situation - a man is gone for several months on a trading trip. When he returns, he finds his wife pregnant with another man's child. He is NOT happy.

I want this to happen in the 1720's. I'm flexible as to exactly where in Europe but would prefer them to be Catholic (either Greek Orthodox or Roman).

Could the wife take refuge in a chuch and/or nunnery? Would they allow her to stay until the child is born? I need the child to survive but would prefer that the mother be killed by the husband somehow. And if he did kill his wife, what would the ramifications be (i.e. would it just sort of be hushed up as in the wife got what she deserved).

They already have an eight-year-old son and five-year-old daughter. He ends up mentally scarred by this whole episode. What would happen to them - taken from father/abandoned/what?

Any thoughts/suggestions/comments - particularly as it relates specifically to the Catholic religion - would be much appreciated.

You guys have proven so helpful in the past, I'm hoping you can do it again. Rep points will be given. Thanks.

09-21-2008, 09:00 AM
This is a century + after the Martine Guerre whoopsie, but similar, with neither Catholicism nor social views changing very far in the interim. I see him getting away with a not too complicated killing and his kids definitely not being taken from him. Before that, she can take refuge somewhere to live in shame until the baby's born/ she offed by crabby hubby...but she won't be hanging out in ye olde nunnery, I think. As a signle daddy, fairly likely he'll marry again pretty quickly, or if another relative can take in the kids (quite likely two different homes) they may well be farmed out.

Sounds like an interesting novel.

09-21-2008, 09:43 AM
In central Europe people were never too big on jealousy killings, so if he did it in the open, strangling her or murdering with an axe in a fit of rage, he would probably be caught and executed. If he bullied her to death or poisoned (not very likely), or used some similar subtler methods, the neighbors would probably talk, but not turn him in, especially in a small town/village. He would raise his children and maybe marry again, or have his female relatives (mother/sister/sister in law) help him.

The wife wouldn't have a place to hide from him, unless her family was always supportive to her and hostile to the husband. She wouldn't be able to run to a convent or a church, since ultimately she is under her husband's jurisdiction; she would be given back to him with the advice that she endure everything he would do to her with humility and obedience.

09-24-2008, 04:45 AM
Thanks for your responses. So much for the wife taking refuge in a monastary - I'll have to work out something different.

(And I didn't forget about this thread - I simply couldn't get on the boards for a couple of days.)